Theory of relativity

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The theory of relativity was developed by Albert Einstein in the early 1900s. There are two theories of relativity. The first is special relativity and the second is general relativity. Both are based on the principle of relativity, which was created by Galileo Galilei, the Italian astronomer, in the 1600s.

Special relativity[change | change source]

Special relativity says that every person has their own time. Time passed for a stationary observer is greater than time passed for a moving observer or "the faster the speed you travel physically, the slower the speed of increasing of your age will become".

One person's clock says something different from another person's clock. The reason a person's time can be different from another's is because of time dilation, which can be thought of more easily by the twin paradox.

Twin paradox[change | change source]

The twin paradox shows how time changes because of speed. The faster someone or something moves or the more mass they have, the slower time passes for them. This is shown by a pair of twins. Imagine that the first twin moves at a fast speed, near the speed of light for example, while the other twin stays in one general location. When the first twin returns from his trip, he will be younger than the second twin. Thus time and speed are related. If a train is moving around the earth at the speed of light then time will become slower for the passengers aboard the train and upon stepping out of the train they will step down in the future.

References[change | change source]

  • Hawking, Stephen. The Universe in a Nutshell. Bantam Books, 2001.

Other websites[change | change source]